When the Cicadas Return
 

 

   
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Songs for the Extinction of Winter
Rob Cook

THE GOSSIP AND INCOMPLETENESS OF AMERICAN WINTER

How many borders built
out of animal silence

Who will remember
the spaces where I was
supposed to talk and didn’t

Can you hear me swallowing
the gin that causes evening,
the sound I make crossing the wilderness
to get away from the words
tangled between party guests—

my face over spider country

an eclipse, a coven of copper snow,

the room’s arctic territories
where Mr. Runyon brags
how he made his bed bleed,

all the speaking between us,
yours:

light that others could use

And you ask me:
Crow, what’s wrong, I can see the January flocks
drifting away in the eyes
of our friends

Crow, when you don’t speak
I hear gypsy moth excrement
even this far beyond summer
falling like a small rain from the trees

It’s all I can do to listen,
but then I realize it’s just more gossip
about the few inches of sunset
before it reaches us

and about people ruined by their clothes,
the starving bison shadows

that will be lived in, by somebody, again.

 
 
 
 

 

 
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